It’s easy enough to find out which car has been flying off the lots in a given year, but there’s one car in particular that has truly stood the test of time.
There are a handful of models in the running, starting with a couple of Volkswagens: the Beetle and the Golf (aka Rabbit). Beetles captured hearts as Herbie in the The Love Bug in 1968, which ended up being its top-selling year. They’ve dropped in popularity since, and Volkswagen is ending the car’s production, but with more than 22.7 million since its 1938 debut, Punch Buggies still hold strong as one of the all-time best-selling vehicles. Find out which car brands are the best and worst in customer satisfaction.
The Volkswagen Golf, meanwhile, was the best-selling car in Europe for seven years straight, until losing out to the Ford Fiesta in March 2017. But the streak only snapped for a month before the Golf made its resurgence, spurring seven generations of the model and selling over 35 million units worldwide.
Then along comes the Ford F-Series, which has been America’s top-selling vehicle for 38 years straight (and the top truck for 43), giving it a strong spot in the global sales too. As of 2019, more than 38 million trucks were sold stateside in the model’s 71-year history. But if we’re looking at worldwide sales, another car takes the cake for most popular of all time—and it’s certainly not the car brand with the worst reputation in America.
Toyota Corolla is the official best-seller in the auto world. It made its debut in 1966, and over half a century later, more than 49 million Corollas had been sold worldwide. It’s not the sexiest model ever, but the cars do have that middle-market appeal that makes them a solid choice for those of us who can’t afford a Ferrari. The 2020 Corolla’s base price is a reasonable $19,600—right on par with its main competitors—while still offering reliability, trusty safety features, and great mileage. Sure beats the least reliable car in the industry!